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The COVID-19 Vaccine is Here

This week in Clipboard Health’s Nursing News round-up … 

COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Begin in the United States

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An intensive care unit nurse in New York City became the first person in the United States to receive the first newly authorized COVID-19 vaccine on Monday. The vaccine, developed by Pfizer and BioNTEch, was authorized for emergency use on Friday by the Food and Drug Administration. 

Since Friday, 2.9 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine have begun to be distributed across the United States with deliveries to continue throughout the week. Each state will then follow its own vaccination rollout plans to distribute doses with high-risk health care workers among the first to receive the vaccine.

Meanwhile, United States officials expect the Moderna vaccine to be approved for emergency use and begin distribution by next week.

Following reports last week of two people who had a severe allergic reaction to the Pfizer vaccine, the FDA said that only those who have had severe allergic reactions to other vaccines or any ingredients found in this vaccine should avoid getting the vaccine. Pfizer reported that there were no instances of an allergic reaction during the trials.

The vaccines come as the COVID-19 death toll in the United States passes 300,000 and the country saw more than 3,000 deaths from the virus in a single day last week.

Scientists Identify Five Genes Linked to Severe COVID-19

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On Friday, scientists announced that they had identified five key genes that are linked to a patient having severe COVID-19. The study involved the DNA of 2,700 patients with COVID-19 in Britain. 

The findings will help develop further treatments and medications to combat the disease. 

CVS, Walgreens to Give COVID-19 Vaccine to Nursing Homes Starting December 21

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CVS and Walgreens reported that the federal government had asked that they wait until December 21 before giving the COVID-19 vaccine to long-term care facilities. The two pharmacy chains are responsible for distributing and administering the medication to nursing homes.

Officials and a member of Pfizer’s board of directors said that the delay is due to the need to get consent from patients and their family members for the patients to receive the vaccine. 

New COVID-19 Variant Found in UK No Worse than Other Variants

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Medical officials from the United Kingdom reported that a new variant of the COVID-19 virus that was found recently in England does not seem to cause any worse or differing symptoms from other variants. More than 1,000 cases of the variant have been identified.

Officials in the United Kingdom and from the World Health Organization are closely watching this variant because it has more mutations than other variants of the virus so far.

Bird Flu Outbreaks Continue to Worsen in Asia and Europe

We previously reported on a wide-spread bird flu outbreak in Japan and many European countries several weeks ago. This week, the bird flu has spread to its 10th prefecture in Japan, which means the virus is now affecting 20% of Japan’s prefectures. South Korea is also attempting to handle an outbreak.

A different strain of the contagious virus is making its rounds through multiple European countries at the same time, prompting the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization to warn African health authorities to keep a close eye on poultry farms in case the virus begins to spread there.

Medical Studies Round-Up

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Here’s a brief round-up of recent medical studies and their findings for you to stay up-to-date with the ever-evolving field of medical research.

  • A clinical trial to test the effectiveness of using azithromycin to treat patients with severe COVID-19 has not shown that the medication gives any benefit. Doctors have closed the trial.
  • A new study of 1,033 patients found that a combination of baricitinib and remdesivir was more effective in treating pneumonia from COVID-19 than by just using remdesivir alone. 
  • The Standing Together for Nutrition Consortium conducted a study that shows that the pandemic’s effects on efforts to reduce malnutrition in many countries will likely lead to the deaths of 168,000 children from malnutrition. 

Race for the Vaccine: Coronavirus Vaccine Updates

Here’s the most recent news from the past week on COVID-19 vaccine development. 

Covid-19 vaccine status tracker stages
Covid-19 vaccine tracker - phase 3

Data from trials for Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine showed a 91.4% effectiveness rate.

Covid-19 vaccine tracker - phase 4

Russia nears the end of trials for a vaccine for domestic animals, including mink, which have been particularly hard hit in many countries.

Covid-19 vaccine tracker - manufacturing stage

Canada began administering the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine on Monday.

Covid-19 vaccine tracker - phase 3

CureVac begins its large late-stage Phase II and early Phase III trials for its vaccine candidate. 

Covid-19 vaccine tracker - phase 2

Codagenix Inc and the Serum Institute from India got approval to begin early-stage trials for a single-dose, intranasal COVID-19 vaccine in the United Kingdom. 

Covid-19 vaccine tracker - phase 2

AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford removed children from its mid-to-late stage trials that the company is conducting in Britain. 

Covid-19 vaccine tracker - phase 3

Moderna begins a mid-to-late stage study of its vaccine on adolescents from the age of 12 years old to 18 years old.

Covid-19 vaccine tracker - quality control

Tens of thousands of people in the United Kingdom have received the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine since its approval and rollout earlier last week.